NOTWITHSTANDING the reported rice shortage in Metro Manila, the National Food Authority (NFA) Pangasinan has assured Pangasinan households that there is enough buffer stock of rice for the consumers in the province.
Chona Maramba, OIC-assistant manager of NFA-Western Pangasinan said while there are only 16,000 bags of NFA Rice at the warehouses in Alaminos City, Mangatarem and Lingaye, she estimates a total of 1.2 million bags of commercial rice are stored in the households and in the market which are enough until the next harvest season.
She allayed fears of rice shortage in Pangasinan because there is ample supply of commercial rice in the market and in households from the produce of the local farmers even as her office noted an additional P1 price increase in every kilo of commercial rice.
Maramba said the 16,000 bags of NFA rice is already set aside for relief operations in case of calamity, for the BJMP supply and feeding program of the Local Government Units.
Her office has already asked NFA for the release of 250,000 bags of NFA rice to augment the rice supply in the province as additional buffer stock in case of a calamity.
Maramba added that should Pangasinan need more rice, NFA Pangasinan can get additional stock supply from other sources in the region.
She said, the minimal increase of price of commercial rice is due to the increase of price of gasoline and the traders cannot impose higher prices because of the ample supply in Pangasinan. (Nora Dominguez)
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